Thursday, July 28, 2011

Williams Bros: Kelpie seaweed ale

type: ale
origin: Scotland
price: $4.79/500ml at Joe Canal's (Princeton, NJ)
abv: 4.4%

Somehow I thought the idea of a seaweed ale would quench my nostalgia for the Pacific in the blinding heat last week. That is not exactly what happened but I can't say I was disappointed anyway.

Apparently they mash actual kelp into this beer during the brew, which sounds like it could be either a good or bad thing, but the reality is that the seaweed flavor isn't too forward. I was sort of expecting a blast of sea breeze, salt crusted eyebrows, babes in bikinis, sunshine, the sound of crashing waves, and the feeling of cool sea water on my toes when I popped this bottle but that is not how they roll in Scotland. When I woke up from that wet dream and realized I was in New Jersey with pretty much none of the above, it dawned on me that the brewers and I had a different vision.

This brew is essentially a light bodied porter, maybe with some vague hints of brininess and seaweed if I really try to taste it. Altogether not too bad of a brew, but do not be deceived: there is no sea party in this bottle!

The next afternoon when I got home from work I realized I had left a bit in the bottom of the bottle sitting on the table, which I poured into a frosty mug fresh from my freezer. This time around there was a bit more chewing on seaweed flavor, so either it started growing something during the heat of the day, or this beer just needs to breathe for a bit to let the ocean out. Still, I definitely preferred the prior night's pour.

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